From the time I went to college in Southern California I have had a dream and a goal of owning a home in Santa Barbara and being a part of the community there. Being priced out of the market because of the real estate bubble, I put my dream on hold. With the bubble popping, I recently began to search for a home again. What I have found both saddens me and angers me.
What I have found can best be described as BAU (Business As Usual). The flippers and speculators are back in full force, brokers whose mantra is “Up sell, up sell,” while owners who got caught at the real estate casino are desperately trying to hold on so they can avoid losses.
What do these people bring to the community?
I believe that I should be able to locate a respectable home at an affordable price. I’m well educated, with above-average income and a strong financial position. However, thus far I have only seen prices that are still way out of line. Yes, one pays a premium for living in Santa Barbara. However, the affordability gap today is such that it reminds me of the bubble. The market seems to be pushing the same old song that got so many into financial trouble. Take a look at the financial condition of the county, and California as a whole. When the market becomes speculation it is only a matter of time before another crash occurs.
Speculation is a community killer.
My goal is to find a home that I can comfortably afford so that I can make my home in Santa Barbara for a very long time. I refuse to give up on my dream of having a home in the sun by the sea.—